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The Ghouls

USA 2003
produced by
Chad Ferrin, Nicholas Loizides, John Santos, David DeFino (associate), Trent Haaga (associate), Lewis Jackson (associate), Timothy Muskatell (co) for Crappy World Films
directed by Chad Ferrin
starring Timothy Muskatell, Tina Birchfield, James Gunn, Stephen Blackehart, Trent Haaga, Gil Espinoza, Marina Blumenthal, Carlo Corazon, Ernest M. Garcia, Joseph Pilato, Casey Powell, Tiffany Shepis
written by Chad Ferrin, music by Nick Smith, special makeup effects by Heather Mages

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Eric (Timothy Muskatell) is a stringer, which is pretty much the lowest form of freelance reporter and cameraman: The one who chases ambulances and police cars in hopes to be led to a scene of some atrocity he can film and then sell the tape to the highest bidder - and there is always a highest bidder, since all these news shows need to be filled with atrocious pictures, right? Eric sees those he sells his material to even below him, since their demand has only created the likes of him - but when one witnesses Eric filming whatever atrocities totally detached, one can't be too sure who's the biggest asshole here. Heck, his wife has left him because of his job ethics (or lack thereof) already.

One drunken night, Eric witnesses what he first takes to be a rape (which he wants to film of course), only to then find out it's a bunch of subhuman creatures eating a woman alive. He is shocked but thinks he has the perfect story - but has to realize there was no tape in his camera ...

Eric returns to the crimescene the next night with his best pal Clift (Trent Haaga), who'd simply do anything for a bundle of money, and Eric's story seems to be promising in that department. Something goes wrong when Eric and Clift are separated and Clift is abducted by the creatures. But much more than the loss of a friend is it worrying to Eric that he also loses his camera. Then he's knocked out ... and reunited with Clift, who's still alive but apparently has been skinned. Both of them are trapped in some kind of dungeon, apparently by the cannibalistic creatures. And when they finally witness somebody opening the door ... well, that might not be a good sign.

 

The Ghouls is a very brutal and very blunt film - which is of course perfectly in tune with the film's subject matter, the story of a man always looking for something more atrocious in a way that he doesn't even realize he has become the biggest atrocity himself. But that the film works is in the end thanks to the fact that there is a very human side to Eric the stringer, despite everything he does, despite the unattractive lowlife he is, there is something there one can identify with, in parts thanks to Timothy Muskatell's performance of course, but in part also to the script that allows the character to be more than just a despicable asshole.

Now this is a film that is certainly not for everybody, because its violence is necessarily very extreme  at times, and you might see quite a few things you don't want to see, be tricked into thinking quite a few things you don't want to think - but if you're ok with all of that, then the film is totally recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD